California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Life History Database: Biological Characteristics of Nearshore Fishes of California

Purpose and Overview

Life History Information
One of the four core policies in achieving the goals of the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) is the principle of basing decisions on sound science and other useful information such as biology of fish, population status and trends, fishing effort, catch levels, and impacts of fishing (known as essential fisheries information or EFI). This database was created to facilitate the easy access to life history information for nearshore fishes of California as part of an ongoing effort to gather EFI in order to enhance management techniques and improve management decisions. This database contains the life history information compiled in the report, "Biological Characteristics of Nearshore Fishes of California: A Review of Existing Knowledge and Proposed Additional Studies" (Cailliet et al. 2000).

The original report was designed "to be a major step toward characterizing the fish assemblages in California's nearshore ocean waters and providing essential information for measuring the impacts of human activities, measuring economic costs and benefits to the state from commercial and recreational fishing, and evaluation alternative management strategies for marine fisheries through the FMP (fisheries management plan) process." The reorganization of this data into an easily query-able form, adds to the ability of managers and researchers to utilize this information and, thus, to improve management of the nearshore fishery. Also by gathering available data on 130 different nearshore species in one place, this database offers researchers and managers an understanding of which subjects and species are well studied and which areas have a paucity of knowledge and require more research effort.